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Do African Dwarf Frogs Need a Filter? “YES” Is the Recommendation

Do African Dwarf Frogs Need a Filter

African dwarf frogs(ADF) are entirely aquatic amphibians and live in aquatic environments. If you are thinking about getting a pair of ADF, ensuring the healthy environment of the water is a must. 

In this regard, you may ask, “Do African dwarf frogs need a filter in their aquarium?” The short answer is yes. Having a filter is highly recommended for your frog’s aquarium. Though you can skip it, it would not be a very good decision. 

After reading this article, I guarantee you can make an informed decision if you are new in the frog petting world. So, no more ado, let’s find out the facts. 

Do African Dwarf Frogs Need a Filter? An Analytical Answer With Filter Functions 

Yes, African dwarf frogs need a filter in the aquarium. In particular, you can skip this, but having a filtration is highly recommended. 

Do African Dwarf Frogs Need a Filter

Now, you may ask why they are necessary. To understand the necessity of filters, first, you need to know how filtrations work. 

How Filtration Works in an Aquarium?

How Filtration Works in an Aquarium

Here’s how the filtrations work in aquariums. 

Mechanical Filtration By Canister Filters

It is the most common type of filtration that canister filters do. In this filtration, canister filters use a strainer in the water flow. The strainer here is called “screen.” 

The screen here filters out solid and semi-solid particles that can cloud the tank’s water. It keeps the water clean by keeping the waste on the screen. Screens are mainly composed of special sponges, fiber pads, poly-fil floss, or combinations. 

The particles mechanical filtration keeps away are fish waste, floating algae, food waste, dust, bubbles, stirred-up sediments, etc. 

Biological Filtration by Bio-Filter

Biological filtration is done by biological filter or simply bio-filter by allowing useful bacteria to grow in their media. 

Biological Filtration by Bio-Filter

Particles like fish waste, food, rotten plants, etc., accumulate in the tank and create ammonia. Ammonia burns the respiration system of fish and amphibians, including their gills and lungs. 

But, what bio-bacteria do is feed off the ammonia and convert it into nitrate through the nitrogen cycle. Bio-filters facilitate their large surface area for biofilm where the useful bacteria can grow and live. 

As a result of biological filtration, the water tank remains clean throughout the time. 

Chemical Filtration

Chemical filtration removes dissolved chemical wastage from the water. It can be done with active charcoal. And there are some filters that feature chemical filtration as well as active charcoal inside them. 

So, Why Are The Filters Necessary for African Dwarf Frogs?

Clean water ensures the proper respiration of your ADFs. But you may ask me if I am curious about another point. African Dwarf frogs come up for breath every 15 to 20 minutes. So, why do they need filtration since they don’t breathe underwater?

Why Are The Filters Necessary for African Dwarf Frogs

Though they don’t breathe underwater, frogs exchange gasses (oxygen and carbon dioxide) through their skin underwater. Then, the oxygen is circulated in their blood. This mostly happens when they take rest or hibernate underwater. 

So, clean water with proper oxygen supplements is a must. And here comes the filter, as it ensures clean water in the tank for your African dwarf frogs. 

Benefits of Having Filters in Your African Dwarf Frog’s Aquarium

Here are some other benefits/necessities of having filters in your ADF’s aquarium. 

Benefits of Having Filters in Your African Dwarf Frog’s Aquarium

Proper filtration also maintains the optimal temperature of the tank, keeping it around 65° to 75°F. 

  • Keeping Oxygen Supply Constant: Filtration keeps the oxygen supply constant, which is extensively required for the good health of the water and your frogs. As I mentioned earlier, your ADFs will exchange the oxygen gas by taking it and emitting carbon dioxide. 

How to Choose a Filter for Your African Dwarf Frogs?

Now you know the importance of having a filter in an African dwarf frog’s tank. You need to consider some aspects while choosing a filter so that it can fulfill your ADFs’ particular needs based on the tank. 

How to Choose a Filter for Your African Dwarf Frogs

Type of Filtration You Need

The most important thing you should choose is the type of filter. If your tank is smaller in size, and there are not more than 2 frogs, canister filters are okay. Because with such few frogs, your aquarium won’t be dirty so fast. 

But if you have more than 4 frogs and other fish in the tank, go for both canister and bio-filters. 

And finally, if you want all the mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration simultaneously, go for power filters. Power filters have the feature to do all the filtration simultaneously. 

Flow Rate of Filter

Another crucial aspect of the filter choice is its flow rate. Flow rate means how many gallons of water the filter can run per hour. It is denoted by GPH(gallon per hour)

The GPH should be at least 4 times bigger than your tank size, and more is merrier. For example, if you have a 15-gallon tank, your filter should have a capacity of 60 GPH. But, if you choose 100 GPH for a 15-gallon tank size, it would be much better. 

Likewise, a larger flow rate will ensure the most efficient filtration possible. 

3 Best Aquarium Filters for Your African Dwarf Frogs

There are many brands and types of filters available in the market. So, you can pick any one of them for your ADFs. 

Aquarium Filters for Your African Dwarf Frogs

Since you need filters for your ADF, I have picked 3 filters here for 3 different categories that may be helpful for you. 

1. AquaClear 50 Power Filter

  • Tank size: 50 gallons
  • Filtrations: Mechanical, biological, and Chemical 
  • Clean Interval: 2 Weeks
  • Flow Rating: 200 GPH
  • Power Consumption: 5 watt

2. Coospider Tank Filter Green Clean Submersible Machine

  • Tank size: 40-gallon
  • Filtrations: Mechanical
  • Size: 3.75 x 12 x 3.3 inches
  • Flow Rating: 132 GPH
  • Power Consumption: 5 watt

3. OASE Indoor Aquatics Biomaster Thermo 250

  • Tank size: 70-gallon
  • Filtrations: Mechanical, biological, chemical, and prefiltration
  • Size: 9.4 x 9.4 x 14.6 inches
  • Flow Rating: 250 GPH
  • Power Consumption: 165 watts


Here are some common questions people also ask about whether African dwarf frogs need a filter. 

What if I don’t use filters for my African dwarf frogs?

If you don’t use a filter, you have to change and clean the tank water too frequently, probably once or twice a week. This is a real hassle. Also, if you forget to change the water, the water can be contaminated, causing fatal consequences, including the death of your frogs. 

Do African Dwarf Frogs need an air pump?

No, they don’t need an air pump since they come up to breathe on the water’s surface because they have lungs instead of gills. They generally come up every 15 to 20 minutes, so you don’t need to pump air in your ADF’s water tank. 

Do African Dwarf Frogs need heaters in the aquarium with filters?

If you can keep your ADF’s tank temperature between 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, you don’t need a heater. But, if you can’t, add a heater to the aquarium. 

Final Thoughts

So, if you ask, “Do African dwarf frogs need a filter?” I surely recommend one. It is because proper filtration is required to maintain healthy water and a healthy life for your frogs. 

On the other hand, the water will be frequently dirty with food biochemicals and ammonia, which can bring death to your frogs’ fate. Therefore, a filter is highly recommended to maintain the cleanliness of your ADF’s tank. 

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